HOUSTON (AP) – A Houston police helicopter crashed on Saturday, an incident that killed one of the two officers on board and left the other seriously injured as they were on a call for a body search in a swamp. close, authorities reported.
A pilot and a tactical flight agent were traveling on the police aircraft when it crashed into an apartment complex around 2:00 a.m. Both were airlifted to a hospital, where the tactical flight officer died, police chief Art Acevedo said hours after the incident at a press conference attended by city mayor Sylvester Turner.
The department identified the deceased as tactical flight agent Jason Knox. He is survived by his wife and two young children, who were in the hospital, as well as the agent’s parents and other relatives, according to Acevedo.
“We are going to miss him,” Acevedo said. “He had a heart of gold and unsurpassed integrity.”
Authorities have not released the causes of the crash, and Acevedo said the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will launch the investigations as Houston police conduct a separate investigation for the murder.
Acevedo indicated that shots were heard across the street, regarding where the events occurred around 3:00 in the morning, and six people were arrested.
The investigation will determine if the helicopter was hit by bullets, said Acevedo, who mentioned cases in his previous work in Austin and California, when police helicopters were shot.
The pilot, Police Chase Cormier, is “very hurt” and seriously injured, but was aware Saturday afternoon. There were no injuries on the ground at the apartment complex, Acevedo told reporters.